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Education and Outreach at Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics

Initially, Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve (TCAP) put more resources into individual school visits and other events that had limited effect in the preserve's geographic range. In order to increase cost-effectiveness, emphasis had been shifted to major events, satellite broadcasts to classrooms and other mass marketing strategies. Particularly effective events included an episode of the satellite television show Project Oceanography that was broadcast to numerous schools in the Tampa Bay and surrounding areas. A documentary titled Wild Tampa Bay, which aired on government access television channels, showcased the activities of TCAP programs. Displays at the St. Petersburg Boat Show and MarineQuest have given the program regional exposure. Kiosks at preserve access points have been effective in getting information to visitors.

Seminole Indians learn about natural history

Visitors from the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma learn about natural history

By virtue of its remote location, Terra Ceia has the advantage of a higher level of awareness among its users than some of the more urban preserves. Visitors to Terra Ceia typically know something about boating and local resources, and they are attracted to Terra Ceia by that knowledge. Ephemeral users, like one-time boat rental customers of Pinellas County are relatively uncommon, but, as development and tourism bring in an increasing number and variety of users, a need for more basic information on the preserve's resources and their protection is anticipated.

Despite some regional successes, there still is a need for more place-based education and outreach efforts specific to Terra Ceia. High-quality kiosks and signage at more access points likely will be effective in reaching more preserve visitors. Participation in more local events like Rubonia Mardi Gras and the Terra Ceia Mullet Smoke-off could reach more local citizens who not only use the preserve but can serve as the program's eyes and ears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated: September 26, 2013

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